After the game, we headed to John’s Roast Pork. Now I know there’s much more to Philly’s food scene than a cheesesteak, but it’s been a very long time. I had to have one somewhere! This iconic sandwich joint is said to be one of the best. Forget those other guys! They’re cash only and close by 7pm.
It seemed like everybody went there after the game. It was no surprise when we saw a line, but they kept it moving. People will direct you towards the start of the line once you enter.
There’s a separate line for cold sandwiches and roast pork, but everybody wanted grilled items today. The nonstop sizzling of the flat top and wonderful smells were such a tease.
The family-owned and operated business began serving cheesesteak sometime in the early 1960’s. The current owner, John Bucci, Jr., took over cheesesteak duties from his father in the early 1970s and completely revamped their cheesesteak ways.
The line gave me time to decide what to order. As much as I wanted to try the roast pork sandwich, it was all about the cheesesteak today. American, mild provolone or sharp provolone? I went with mild. Apparently they make a tasty chicken cutlet sandwich too. Sure, we’ll try that too.
It was finally our turn to order – a cheesesteak with onions and provolone, and a chicken cutlet sandwich with lettuce, tomato, and mayo. They jotted down the order and began cooking it right away while I made my way towards the cashier to pay.
Now, it was the waiting game. It was too cold to sit at one of the few picnic tables outside, so everybody was getting their food to go. I tried standing wherever there was space, patiently waiting for someone to shout out my name. After about 10 minutes, someone shouted “Desiree!” Yes! I grabbed the plastic bag of freshly made sandwiches, hopped in the Uber, and headed back to the hotel.
After about a 20 minute ride, we eagerly sat down and opened up the cheese steak. It was still warm and it looked damn good.
They supposedly give a 12 oz. serving of meat as opposed to other 4-5 oz serving. The meat was piled on a sesame seeded roll with fried onions and melted provolone. The cheese was melted throughout the sandwich and everything was perfectly mixed. The bread was nice and crusty, but still soft. The meat was tender and flavorful.
While many cheesesteaks are made with ribeye, Bucci prefers to use loin tails because they are well-marbled and don’t have as much gristle. The restaurant has been buying their meat from New Jersey butcher Nick Papanier of Nellie’s Provisions for the past 30 years.
This cheesesteak was pretty amazing. I’m glad we made the pit stop. We realized we could have easily ordered two, but we still had that chicken cutlet sandwich.
The chicken cutlet was placed on a kaiser roll since it was a small order. The cutlet was breaded and pretty thin. It still had some good flavor, but I would stick to the cheesesteak or try the roast pork sandwich next time.
John’s Roast Pork did not disappoint. The cheesesteak was wonderful. I can only imagine how much better it would have been if we were able to eat it there. The tiny cash-only gem is a short drive from downtown and totally worth it.
John’s Roast Pork
14 E Snyder Ave
Philadelphia, PA 19148